The Gospel in Acts

  1. What were the disciples looking forward to just before Jesus’ ascension (Acts 1:4-11)?
    • Luke 17:20-21
    • Luke 19:11-27
    • Matthew 21:33-46
  1. How does Peter’s sermon in Acts 2:1-41 reflect the Gospel of the Kingdom?
    • Who was he preaching to? Where were they from? What did they all have in common?
    • What does “in the last days” (Acts 2:17) mean?
    • What does Peter mean by “save yourselves from this crooked generation” (Acts 2:40)?
  1. Why were the apostles beaten and what was their response in Acts 5:40-42?
    • “They did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.” – What does “the Christ” mean?
      • Acts 2:36
  1. What is the common theme in the disciples’ sermons?
    • Acts 8:12
    • Acts 19:8
    • Acts 20:25
    • Acts 28:31
  1. What is the scope of Jesus’ lordship? Who is the promise for?
    • Acts 1:8
    • Acts 2:39
    • Romans 10:12
  1. How is the proclamation that “Jesus is Lord of all” especially scandalous for a Roman Centurion (Acts 10:1-11:18)? How do you think Cornelius came to know God?
  1. Why was Paul’s message in Acts 13:13-52 so upsetting to certain Jews and so exciting for the Gentiles? Where do you see the message of God’s Kingdom here?
  1. The disciples were regularly persecuted. What motivates them to continue?
    • Acts 14:19-23
    • Luke 22:28-30
  1. What do you think of Paul’s preaching strategy in Acts 17:16-34?
    • How does this passage compare to Jesus’ message of “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17)?
  1. In Acts, we see the disciples spreading the news of God’s Kingdom. God delegated dominion to man in the beginning (Genesis 1:28,2:15). To whom and for what mission does Jesus delegate his authority?
    • Acts 1:8
    • Matthew 24:14
    • Matthew 28:18-20
    • John 20:21-22
    • Jesus came to the lost sheep of Israel (Matthew 15:24) to empower them to get back to the mission God had for them from the start. What Jesus was to Israel, he now works through his body, the church, to do for the world. We are to display the Kingdom and be the light of the world, and through us all the nations will be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3).
  1. As we have seen here and before, there is a cost to be paid to enter God’s Kingdom. But if we will pay it, the reward is greater than anything we can imagine.
    • Matthew 25:34

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The Gospel According to Jesus, Part 2

“And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 10:38-39

  1. Is our King reigning right now? Who/what is he reigning over?
    • Ephesians 1:15-23
    • Colossians 1:15-20
    • Hebrews 13:8
  1. What did Jesus add to John the Baptist’s message (see Matthew 3:2, Matthew 4:17,19)?
  1. What does it cost to be a disciple of Jesus and a citizen of his Kingdom?
    • Luke 9:23-26,57-62
    • Luke 14:25-33
    • Luke 20:24-25
    • Matthew 10:16-39
    • Philippians 3:3-11
    • 1 Peter 4:12-19
  1. What is the reward of his Kingdom?
    • Mark 10:23-31, Matthew 19:21-30
    • Matthew 6:33, 10:40-42
    • Colossians 3:23-24
    • Romans 8:17
    • 1 Peter 1:3-9
  1. What threatens to lure us away from his Kingdom? (Mark 4:18-19, Matthew 6:24)
    • How might Luke 6:43-45 apply in this context?
      • What’s in our heart often reveals itself through our wallet and our calendar
  1. What strikes you most about Jesus’ proclamation of the gospel to Pilate in John 18:33-38?
    • Jesus is the reference point for truth. He is the basis of all the Scripture in the Old Testament. The Kingdom story began long ago!
      • John 5:19-47 (Especially John 5:39-40,46)
      • Luke 24:13-27
      • John 1:45
      • Acts 28:23
      • Mark 3:13-14 (What is the significance of Jesus selecting 12 disciples when his ministry begins?)
  1. A common presentation of the gospel today is restricted to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus with forgiveness of sins for believers. While those are certainly important components, what is missing? (After all, Jesus and his disciples preached a gospel message before the death, burial, and resurrection.)
    • This isn’t a one-time decision to intellectually believe or reject, this is a commitment to give your life to him, pledge allegiance to the Kingdom that he established, and pursue him diligently (Hebrews 11:6).
    • “The ‘Gospel of Sin Management’ presumes a Christ with no serious work other than redeeming humankind… fostering ‘vampire Christians,’ who only want a little blood for their sins but nothing more to do with Jesus until heaven.” – Dallas Willard
  1. Jesus did die on the cross for my sins and for yours. Jesus did willingly give himself up to save me. But his gospel was so much larger than that. That’s not the message he told his disciples to proclaim. The message was that the long-awaited Kingdom of God has arrived! It’s so much bigger than “my” sin and “my” salvation. We have a God that has been yearning to restore and redeem his whole creation, and he wants us to be a part of that story—in fact, we get the first taste of that redemption with the gift of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:23). Jesus is not just your personal savior, he is King and Lord above all, whether everyone recognizes that fact right now or not! He wants your allegiance and your life! The verses in this lesson are heavy. We can’t do this on our own, but all things are possible with God. Let’s quit trying to live the Christian life to please God, and instead, let’s give our life to him and let him live it! (Galatians 2:20)

(Click here for referenced Scripture printout.)